'Arrow': Broken hearts for everyone in 'Heir to the Demon'

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You should never let an ex back into your life.

If "Arrow" only adhered to this rule, so very much of the suffering endured by the characters (and possibly the audience) in "Heir to the Demon" could have been avoided. Nyssa al Ghul, Sara Lance, Oliver Queen, Malcolm Merlyn ...

Exes are nothing but bad news in this one.

Sara's most-recent ex causes trouble

Since the random League of Assassins henchmen proved ineffective at catching Sara in previous episodes, the big guns fly in for "Heir to the Demon." It's actually just one big gun, Nyssa, much to the dismay of customs agents at the Starling City airport.

But Nyssa's poisonings and be-ribboned entrances are not just meant to intimidate Sara into returning -- she also wants to win back Sara's heart. You see, it was Nyssa who "saved" Sara by inducting her into the League. At some point after that, gratitude turned to love.

And nothing quite says love like Tibetan pit-viper venom.

In addition to glaring at Oliver a lot, Nyssa poisons Laurel (which looks like a drug overdose) and kidnaps Dinah. Then, she would rather Sara commit suicide than stay in Starling City. It's only after a great deal of butt-kicking by Oliver (who then gives Sara some antivenin to save her life) that Nyssa accepts that Sara really means it. A heartbroken Nyssa releases Sara in the name of Ra's al Ghul.

The downside of this is a lot of pain and suffering -- especially on Sara's part. The upside is that the whole Lance family finds out that Sara is still alive.

Wait, "upside"? Not so much -- Laurel is still really, really mad about the whole boyfriend-stealing, death-faking, oh-by-the-way-your-ex-just-poisoned-me thing. Laurel is most definitely not ready to welcome a long-lost sister into her life.

Moira's ex becomes both a campaign and family issue

Secrets don't stay secret for long on "Arrow." Moira probably should have thought of that before trying to keep Thea's paternity from the world. In this episode, Felicity is the one to figure out what's up. The computer genius realizes that a large transfer of money from Moira's Tempest account went to an old obstetrician.

Felicity can do math, like most computer geniuses, and figures out that Malcolm Merlyn being Thea's daddy is the big secret.

Although Moira does her most convincing "Do what I say if you want to live, you insignificant nothing" to keep Felicity silent, it doesn't work. Felicity holds her tongue just long enough so that she can spill the beans to Oliver during his mother's campaign rally.

Note: Felicity also opens up about having a complicated relationship with her mother and no relationship with the father who abandoned them. This is more than we've ever known about the woman before!

Oliver doesn't exactly take the news well. He makes it through his speech and then promises to keep up appearances. But Oliver and Moira -- despite their shared love of lying and double lives -- are otherwise done.

Sara's old ex seems to be attracted to trouble

At the end of the episode, Sara is heartbroken because Laurel is still mad (and might be a bit upset about Nyssa too). Oliver, meanwhile, has taken to killing tires (with sledgehammers) and punching dummies in order to deal with his emotions.

What happens when you put two ultra-violent, morally questionable, damaged people together in a situation with minimal clothing? Angry, complicated, ill-advised sex is what happens.

Someone should probably tell Oliver and Sara that letting an ex back into their lives is a bad idea. Because this is not going to end well, and not just because Slade Wilson is out for blood again.

Quotes about exes and other things

  • "She's been doing that for like an hour." - Felicity, on Sara's salmon-laddering
  • "Come over to academia. The fun never ends!" - Dinah
  • "Goodbyes are never easy. Is that why I didn't get one?" - Nyssa
  • "British people are really bad liars." - Felicity
  • "If you won't keep my secret for Oliver's sake, keep it for your own." - Moira to Felicity
  • "I've seen the way you look at him." - Moira to Felicity
  • "Lucky for us, Tibetan pit-viper venom is difficult to transport." - Felicity
  • "Where'd you two even meet?" - Lance
    "Vigilante club." - Sara
  • "Is this about your family?" - Oliver
    "No. It's about yours." - Felicity
  • "I can promise you, you don't know my mother. You don't know her like I do. And you don't know what she's capable of ... when it comes to helping the people of Starling City." - Oliver
  • "Not again." - Oliver when Sara is dying
  • "You lied because that is what you do." - Oliver to Moira
  • "Every single thing that has gone wrong in our lives is your fault." - Laurel to Sara
Photo/Video credit: The CW